|Los Angeles – biopharma business hub|
Magazines love to use numbers in titles to attract attention. You know the kind, “Top Ten Tips for Trimmer Hips”, “Six Ways to Slim for Swimsuits”, “Five Steps to Perfect Abs”. But here’s a headline you probably won’t see on a magazine cover in the supermarket checkout line – Top 10 U.S. Biopharma Clusters. But it certainly caught our attention, particularly as three of the top ten are here in California.
The ranking comes from the magazine GEN, which reports on genetic engineering and biotechnology news – not a big seller at Safeway or Piggly Wiggly though you can spot one in just about any lab you visit. They based their ranking on the number of patents awarded in a region, the amounts of NIH grant funding and venture capital funding it attracted, the total lab space in the region, and the number of jobs in the field.
There were the usual suspects in the top three with San Francisco heading the list (again – hurrah), followed by Boston/Cambridge and San Diego. But there was a new entry from California with Los Angeles coming in at number 9. L.A. broke into the top ten based on a number of factors according to the magazine:
“the Los Angeles region has some notable employers, from Amgen in Thousand Oaks, to California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, and UCLA in, where else? Together they employed 23,054 people in “biomedical” positions (California Biomedical Industry Report 2013), giving the region one of the smallest workforces among the top-10. LA placed ninth in NIH funding ($65.4 million) but climbed to the middle of the pack in patents granted (550).”
Just as the stem cell agency has played a key role in making San Francisco and San Diego major players in the field, we also been instrumental in helping make L.A. a player with hundreds of millions of dollars in stem cell research funding for UCLA ($213m), USC ($106m), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center ($41m), Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles ($17.5m) among others.
If you are judged by the company you keep, we are keeping very good company indeed.